Older Workers in Los Angeles Face Age Discrimination

A recent MSNBC article looks at the career of Andy Rooney, famed CBS “60 Minutes” correspondent who worked there for more than 60 years.

It’s a feat many people — young and old — can’t imagine. At a time when Rooney recently retired at age 92, many older workers face age discrimination in Los Angeles and elsewhere.
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Age discrimination while illegal, happens every day. In some cases, potential workers aren’t hired because employers think they are too old to adapt to the job. In other cases, older employees are not offered job improvements or promotions because the company would rather pay to train younger employees. The younger employee can be perceived as a future manager, even if he or she is not as qualified as the more experienced, older person.

This is where an experienced Orange County employment lawyer comes in. Consulting with a lawyer to discuss your case and look at your options is a smart move before storming into your boss’s office and getting into an argument or filing a complaint. Having an objective outsider look at your case can be beneficial.

According to the article, there aren’t many Andy Rooneys anymore. The number of long-term older unemployed Americans is growing. Many have lost their jobs and are having a difficult time finding others. They believe their age is a big factor.

Many companies view age discrimination as acceptable and not against the law, but it is. They believe that older workers are less desirable and therefore they don’t hire them.

According to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission statistics, the number of age discrimination complaints has increased from about 16,000 in 2006 to more than 23,000 in 2010.

In one recent age discrimination case, technology firm 3M was ordered to pay $3 million because it illegally laid off millions of workers who were over 45 years old in favor of younger workers they planned on grooming for management positions.

Experts told MSNBC that perception is the real issue. Some companies perceive older workers as being closer to retirement and having a bigger financial cushion, so they don’t feel as bad laying them off. Others believe that older workers are targeted during large-scale layoffs for no reason other than their age.

Some analysts said younger workers and older workers are relatively equal in terms of adapting to new ideas and being trained. Younger workers — especially women — are costliest because of pregnancy. Younger workers take more time off work, and older workers take longer to recover from injuries.

Some AARP statistics from August:

-The average time of unemployment for workers 55 and over was 52.4 weeks, while it is 37.4 weeks for younger jobless
-More than half of older unemployed Americans — 54.9 percent — were “long-term unemployed” — 27 weeks or more
Many older workers are discouraged because they are finding few opportunities for work, even with more experience and a better track record of employment.

If you feel your rights have been violated and are in need of an Orange County employment dispute attorney, call the California Employment Law Team at 877-529-4545 to discuss your rights. We offer free consultations in all areas of discrimination and employment law.

More Blog Entries:

Texas Woman Sues Former Boss For Age Discrimination For Not Dying Gray Hair: July 12, 2011
Additional Resources:

Older jobless workers struggle as age bias claims rise, by Eve Tahmincioglu, MSNBC